Posted by Editoress on 10/10/03
Hamilton Road Worlds
by Claire Bonin
Junior Women's Road Race
The Junior women were the first to tackle the world championships road course. In total, 58 riders from 21 nations completed six laps of the 12.9 km course.
It was on the second lap that a crash involving the bronze medallist from the time trial, Dutch Iris Slappendel, split the field. Two Canadians - Emily Roy and Ana Tratneyk - went down with Slappendel. Both Canadians got back on their bikes but Slappendel had to abandon. Roy crashed a second time during the same lap, and abandoned. She was devastated, and spent the rest of the race in the Team Canada tent. Tratneykt continued to race, and ended up catching a number of riders. She ended up in 40th place, 12:33 behind the winner.
In the pack another Canadian, Audrey Lemieux, launched an attack at the end of the third lap, and was soon joined by Elizabeth Brandau (GER) and Loes Markerink (NED), however, they could not manage to get more than 5 seconds on the pack. Once they were brought back, the peloton was down to 33 riders. Emily Sandwith was one of the casualties and had been passed by Tratnyek, who was still going strong, fighting for positions.
Stephanie Williams (AUS) was next to animate the race with an attack at the end of the fourth lap. The Ukrainans and the Germans were quick to respond, and brought it all back by the descent. The Italians and Germans went to the front, keeping the pace high.
Lemieux tried her hand for a second time, attacking on the top of the course, where she was quickly joined by Loes Sels (BEL). The Australians reacted and brought up shrinking pack, now down to 23. Soon after, at the beginning of the Claremont climb, Valentina Gavrilova (RUS) attacked and Elisabeth Brandau (GER) bridged. The two increased their lead rapidly to 10 second, while Annalisa Cucinotta (ITA) launched the chase. Lemieux tried to bridge but could not close the gap. The Italian and Australian teams kept the chase going on the climb, stringing out and than splitting the group in two. Lemieux could not hold this pace and fell back to the second group. At the top the leaders were caught and the reminder of the field managed to catch back on by the descent.
Finally, it was Irina Tolmacheva (RUS) and Kate Nichols (AUS) who attacked on the last climb, bringing a quick response from Loes Sels (BEL). They got caught shortly before the finish and at the line it was Loes Markerink (NED) who took the win ahead of Tolmacheva and Sabine Fisher (GER).
"When I caught them, I started sprinting from there" says Markerink "I never thought of a strategy (for the sprint)" she explained after the race.
Lemieux was "sort of happy" with her race. "I did a good job today, I wanted to fight because I was able to. I may have made a little mistake when I try to chase them (Gavrilova and Brandau) down."
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